Impact Hustlers - Entrepreneurs with Social Impact

67: Developing Safe & Sustainable Nuclear Energy - Thomas Jam Pedersen of Copenhagen Atomics

February 02, 2021 Maiko Schaffrath Episode 67
Impact Hustlers - Entrepreneurs with Social Impact
67: Developing Safe & Sustainable Nuclear Energy - Thomas Jam Pedersen of Copenhagen Atomics
Show Notes Transcript

Tom Jam Pedersen is the co-founder of Copenhagen Atomics, a company in Denmark that uses thorium to burn out actinides from spent nuclear fuel in order to convert long-lived radioactive waste into short-lived radioactive waste, while producing large amounts of energy.

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Maiko Schaffrath:

You are listening to Impact Hustlers and I am your host, Maiko Schaffrath. I have made it my mission to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs to solve some of the world's biggest social and environmental problems, and for this reason, I am speaking to some of the best entrepreneurs out there who are solving problems, such as food waste, climate change, poverty and homelessness. My goal is that Impact Hustlers will inspire you, either by starting an impact business yourself, by joining the team of one or by taking a small step, whatever that may be towards being part of the solution to the world's biggest problems.

Climate change is arguably one of the biggest, if not the biggest issue that we're facing in our times, and many, many startups, I actually trying to combat climate change. From different angles. And you may know I actually grew up in Germany. And in an environment where the whole sustainability movement was also very connected fighting against nuclear energy. So today's episode is actually very interesting because there has been quite a lot of new developments. In the space of nuclear energy that could help us combat climate change. And if I think about Germany, for example, this is almost like a taboo topic. It's rarely discussed. And this is why I was so excited to speak to Thomas Young Peterson. The co-founder and chairman of Copenhagen Atomics, what they have done. They developed something called a molten salt reactor, a new generation of reactor. That's able to operate very safely and can actually burn existing nuclear waste from existing power plants eliminating actually two problems at the same time, both generating energy and also eliminating waste. In the episode, Thomas did not just reveal some of the misconceptions around nuclear energy, but also spoke about some of the challenges of building a company that takes years and years and years to actually develop and commercialize. A solution that takes deep engineering and real innovation to push forward. we also spoke about how difficult it can be to raise investment for a company like that. And advice for founders in engineering, heavy spaces and building desktops And to start with, I asked Thomas about his personal journey into engineering and actually discovering how promising does new generation of nuclear reactors could be.

Thomas Jam Pedersen:

So I'm an engineer. I'm a person who have always been interested in technology. And how different things work. When I was a kid, I took everything apart. Try to figure out how to work, put it back together and try to make work again. And I helped prepare things and stuff. And that's how you learn. Don't go to university to become a good engineer, go to some workshop. So that's what I did for, for 40 years or more. And of course, when you were that type of person, there's not a lot of us, but there's 1% of the population is. Well, something like that. We always scout for new types of technologies. And I did that as well. And I still do that. I listened to what costs like these ones, but also other media channels to try to get a tick media talents, to try to get news about what new things are out there. And then back in 2008, nine, 10, I came across several stories about million and I had never heard about that before. And I think one of the really first ones I read it said that you could get a car that could drive forever on for him. He never had to refuel it and a ball, the size of a little bit smaller than a golf ball could power your entire need for energy, one person entire and didn't need for their entire life. And I thought, this looks amazing. You know, this looks great. You know why? And then I started reading up on it a little bit more, but then I thought this is bogus. This has gotta be one of these crazy internet stories. That is not true. So I put it aside, but it kept on coming back in those channels, not the same one, but then in other channels. And then I read a few more stories and I think, yeah, it was a couple of years before I really want evening. I said, yeah. And now I have to find out if it's internet crap or if it's true. So I did what engineers do. I looked up all the values on Viki, pedia and other places. Yeah. And I calculated how much entity would it take for my entire life and is the, all that entity in that little ball out of one and 15 minutes later, I was convinced that this is true. I even liked it, the math twice to make sure I hadn't made any errors and it is true. And I also later on, I found other people who've done the calculations online, so you can actually see how the it's not very complicated. Anybody who's. Who has it like a high school that we can do it. And then I was convinced, okay. So forum is a potential for really changing the entities, apply the world. And of course, by then I already knew how important energy is for humanity. Most people in our society doesn't know that, or at least it seems that they don't care, or I don't know, but I mean, without entity, we would not have the type of prosperity that we have today. There's no way. I mean, entity is the primary reason that we have the prosperity. Forget about education, forget about democracy at all of these things. If we didn't have all this energy, we wouldn't have this prosperity. That's a solid thing that is below everything you hear and experience your whole lot. And I knew that already, of course. And then this, ah, this is cool, man, if we can do this, but then at that point, actually I was part of another startup we were running. So I didn't have much time. But still, you know, every now and then I read stories about it and I try to educate myself a little bit more about the women. And then after we stopped that other startup, I had some time on my hands and then I actually thought, okay, now I think I really want to understand. I knew that thumb had a really big potential, but I couldn't really understand why it was not being used by society. I was on a quest to find that out. And I went to conferences about nuclear power and Thor amenity. And that was great because instead of just sitting at home reading articles and try to do my own little calculations, then I got some places where I could ask people who knew a lot more than me. And I could ask all the questions I've been having in my head for those couple of years. And that was when I realized this is much better than I had imagined. Like, this is really cool. Like why we're not doing this. And I started to understand we're not doing this because people, like you say that Fukushima was a disaster and this is where it brings me back. I think there's so much fake news in the general media and people just keep on repeating things that are completely untrue. You said it was a catastrophe. One person died in Fukushima, but at the same time, there was, I think like more than a hundred thousand people died from the tsunami and this one person who died, he volunteered to go into a room where it's radio activity to turn some valve or something. So he even knew that there was a risk and he could have said no, but in the deputy's style, he said, you know, I'm old and I don't need it to have more kids. I will do this. So it was even a volunteering person. So it's crazy that people call it catastrophe. It's not your fault. All the media do that all the time. It's like it sells advertising, I guess, but it's so far from the truth. And you know, I just want to give people a little bit of reality check. So in Europe, which we consider like the standard of living and democracy and everything is in place every day, 2000 people die from smoking. And, you know, I don't see that on immediate, everyday as a catastrophe, but in 20 years or on now it's not 20th, but it's more than 10 years after Fukushima. I still see like, ah, catastrophe. It was not, it's true that there was a problem because they need to clean up and they don't know how exactly how to do that. And there's many things you can criticize, but it's not a catastrophe. There's been many other catastrophes in human history with other forms of. Entity supply, but this was not a catastrophe for sure. You can debate whether the other reactor in Genova, whether that was catastrophe, it was at least closer to a catastrophe, but it's getting the media attention. It makes people believe that this is super dangerous, but when you actually go down and compare the numbers of what is dangerous for humans, you will see that it's not dangerous at all. And it happens all the time. It's not only about nuclear. It happens now with this Corona people say, ah, Corona, you know, we need to stop the world. It's super dangerous. And you realize that we actually, right now, when we have all this Krone crap, more people is dying from suicide than from Corona. Anyway, that's a long discussion, but yeah. Well, one more little point. Like for example, with, uh, when we had all this scare about terror, the media was really trying to scare people about terror. And when you go back and look at how many people actually die from terrorists, it's like, it's nothing. So it's much more about scaring people in media. Then it's about reality. And apparently people and politicians and media, they don't care about statistics and real numbers. But we as engineers, we have to care about that. That's what makes things work. So anyway, so we went back and we looked at thorn and realized that lots of form we could actually solve the entire global entity needs with form. We could easily do that. Part of the story is that already today, we do a lot of mining all over the world and we get different minerals out of the ground. And of course, in some of those minds, we also get thrown them out of the ground. And if you work out all the form, we get out of the ground from all the mines around the world, we already get more Thor I'm out of the ground from mining for other materials sets that we could cover the entire human entity needs with the worm from existing mine. But of course there is not a market for it. So we don't refine it. The mining operations are companies steadiest, throw it back in the ground because they cannot sell it. And it's crazy to think of that, that we have this possibility and nobody's doing anything about it. So we don't make Atomics. We came together and a group of people, we had some meetings and we talked about it. And then finally we said, you know, let's start a company and see how we can make this happen. And the thing with ORM is that it doesn't really work well on the small scale. Like you really need to get it up and running in a big way. So, you know, what we realize right away is we need to manufacture these type of reactors. On an assembly line and reactors that can convert into energy on an assembly line. And we have to do it kind of the same way as we manufacture cars and airplanes. And of course, as an engineer, we know that this is possible. I mean, it's highly doable by humans, but I thought of company in Copenhagen, how do you get the funding to set up a huge factory where you multiple reactors or a new one? So power plants on an assembly line. How do you get them approved? Because there is no approval agency anywhere in the world. Yeah. Who know how to approve this and in order to get it approved, you need to kind of get the politicians to sponsor or give the approval agencies more money. So it's like a lot of this hen and the egg problem all over the place. Not only would they approve us also with some of the materials and so on. I can imagine. I think we're going to dig a bit deeper on that. I think also on your point on the public perception of nuclear power, I'm actually German. I grew up in Germany, probably in Germany. That's like probably one of the countries where it's like mostly widespread that nuclear power. We don't want anything to do with it anymore. Obviously Germany decided to kind of discontinue nuclear power. And I think what I've seen from it as well, doing a bit of research, you see that actually a lot of the existing nuclear power is relying on relativity. Old technology, right? It's not innovative stuff that you're doing, but it's like, it hasn't really developed that much anymore. Right. So what do you say that the molten salt reactors that you are building, how do they differ in terms of the safety and how can you take away some fears from people that listen to this and are like, Oh God, this guy wants to build like nuclear power plants. And even though maybe some of the perception, even about a traditional reactors is. Too much fear, but tell us a bit more about the safety of what you're doing and the efficiency. See all of it. And especially also the waste. Right? So I come from a region in Germany where we had like a waste storage underground. Right. So then that was always a big issue around that and the discussions, what do we do and stuff like that. So tell us more about the safety and the waste of what you're doing off the molten salt reactors. So it's going to be a little bit educational, but I guess that's okay. First of all, one of the things we hear from people that doesn't know anything about nuclear, they think the new pipeline can explode and then sometimes they say, but I saw on TV, the nuclear pipeline and Fukushima and exploded. And we, then now it was not a nuclear explosion at all. That was a hydrogen explosion because of their reaction in the water. And then the water splits, oxygen hydrogen. And then when there was too much pressure, they exited release it from the dome and into the building. And at some point that exploded. And this is what you saw on TV. So there was nothing to do with that. Nuclear explosion. But of course it's not a good thing when a chop blows up off a building, but this is so nuclear reactors do not explode like atomic bombs. I cannot say it's entirely impossible, but it has never happened. And likelihood that it will happen is like extremely low. And that's a misconception. Lots of people think that the nuclear reactor, they haven't, you know, outside the city, it can explode like a nuclear bomb. Yeah. So that's one thing we need to get right in people's head that it's not a nuclear bomb sitting out there outside the city. The second thing is about nuclear waste. So if people tend to think anything that is radioactive is super dangerous and it's a little bit more nuanced than that, because it's a little bit like a scale where in one in the scale, radioactivity is not dangerous at all. And in other end of the scale, it's super dangerous. It's super radioactive. And a lot of times when I try to educate people, I compare it to electricity because that's something people can relate to. You cannot see electricity with your eyes and, but you have these one and a half wall batteries that you give to kids and they can even put it in the mouth. And everybody knows that it's not dangerous, even though nobody can explain to me where they were educated about electricity, but everybody knows that these batteries are safe, but the high voltage lines are dangerous and you should not go and touch these high voltage line. And we should only have professionals working on how high voltage lines and they should follow strict protocols that are made in a way so that it's safe. But as a society, we've figured out how to do that fairly easily without even, you know, we haven't really educated the public, they just kind of know. And it's the same with radioactivity there's things that are radioactive that are not very like that ball made out of a form is not very, very radioactive, you know? It's not dangerous to have around. And the same at banana is radioactive. It's not dangerous. There's a number of things that are radioactive, but they're very low radioactivity and not dangerous. Natural uranium is, is a similar thing. It's not very reactive. There's actually a YouTube video of a guy who eats uranium oxide and, you know, he didn't die. So it's not that radioactive or dangerous. But then of course, there's the other end of the scale with us things that are. Super high radioactivity. And one thing is a nuclear active. When the nuclear reactor is running the material inside directors, highly radioactive, and nobody should get in there and touch it, or that's dangerous. And of course we need to have regulations and protocols and only professionals who work on that. But I guess my understanding is as a society, we know how to do that. And I think it's a good proof. If you look, we have 400 power reactors around the world and another 400 plus reactors in sufferings and other military vehicles. And there's been very few accidents. And if you look at how many people have died from nuclear energy technology, compared to how many people die from gas fired power plants, or putting solar panels on roofs or putting up windmills and all the mining that goes into. All of that, you know, any other entity technology, we kill a lot more people than we do from nuclear. And I really think people need to look at the numbers to see, okay, if nuclear is the safest form of energy, we know as a humanity, why are we keep on scaring people with it? It's like, it doesn't make sense to me, but I guess it's because I need to see the math and other people. They just need to see a good story. Yeah, absolutely. So what's the biggest advantage of the technology you're developing? Is it the efficiency is that it's like very easy to manufacture potentially compared to what's out there. What's like the one point that is much better than what the access already. Yeah. So the old type of nuclear reactors, what is, they're called light water reactors. For most of them, they need to use enriched uranium. That means you take uranium out of the ground and then you have to enrich it. And this enrichment process, you need to have a very pure form of uranium. So there's a lot of chemical processes that go into getting this. Very pure form of uranium, and then you enrich it and then this same enrichment process can also be used for making you put bombs. Of course, it's more advanced for the bombs, but it's kind of the same technology. And then once you have the enriched uranium, you put it inside a reactor and in these lightwater reacts, if you run the water, you use water as a medium to get the heat out of the reactor core and into a steam turbine where you can generate a electricity. And this water needs to be at very high pressure. And that's why the building is so big. It's not because a nuclear reaction is difficult is because of this pressure and because of all the safety systems raised, so that then the building becomes really big. And that's the reason we cannot manufacture classical nuclear reactors on in the symptom line. So it doesn't have something to do with the nuclear. It has something to do with the fact that we use water under pressure. So that's what sucks about classical nuclear. And also that we only, we burn those old type of nuclear reactors so they can burn less than 1% of the uranium that we take out of the ground. So it's not a very efficient way of using this raw material. And there's not a lot of this. They burn type of uranium called uranium two 35. And there's not a lot of this uranium, two 35 on this planet. Of course, there's enough for a couple of hundred years maybe or something, but there's not enough for a thousands of years of covering the entire human entity needs. Then you need all the type of risks. But the great thing about these modes already reactors, that we don't have anything that's under pressure. That means we don't need this big buildings. And at the same time, it's a liquid fuel. So it's to molten salt. That means it's, it's kind of a liquid that you pump around. And because he's, in that way, we can get the fishing products, which is the waste products from the nuclear reaction. We can get those out of the salt while it's running. And that means the efficiency of using the fuel becomes much better. So right away, we get efficiencies that away about 50%. But in the longterm, we can get up to close to a hundred percent like 99% uses of the fuel. And at the same time, we don't need to purify the fuel and enrich it. We can kind of just get for them out of the ground and use it. Even if it's a little bit dirty, it doesn't matter. We can still use it. So this is why it scales a lot, but like not like 10% better, but thousands of times, better than classical nuclear, because you can manufacture it. It's small, you can manufacture it on a simple line. It uses all the fuel. So you don't need to have as much mining. You don't need all the enrichment. You can kind of just use it as it is. So it scales really, really, really well. And then also, because it runs at highest temperature, you get a little bit better of your heat to electricity, but that's not the important point here. The important point is that you can remove the efficient products while you're running the system. And this makes it super much more efficient. And that's why everybody loves the multiple reactors. Then there's okay. Number of groups. And there's also some startup companies that focus on using uranium in moms are reactors. And that can be done, but there's also a number of us focusing on Thor and the reason why form is important and not everybody gets this, not even in the nuclear industry. The reason why thorn is so important is because thumb is the only fuel that exist on this planet or other planets for that matter, that has the capability of running efficient process in what's called thermal space, thermal new front. That means Sloan in France. And I just want to say that we humans, like the very first nuclear reactor, we built it worked right away. Like it's not super difficult thing. Like back when they didn't have computers back when they had to make like most of the components with hand tools, we could still make nuclear reactors in less than a year that work right away, like, but then there's another type of reactors, a nuclear reactor called fast reactors that you can say the complexity is somewhere in the middle, between. These thermal reactors and fusion reactors. So it's like half way, but the half the way it's a fusion. So it's much more difficult. And we humans have built more than 20 of these fast reactors in the history. And none of them came commercial success and none of them worked right off the out of the box as they were supposed to have some of them, they try to make it work for 20 years and then they had to give up. Uh, and so that's, this just shows you that it's more difficult to acknowledge. I hope someday that we humans figure out how to mask frost react to technology. But to be honest, we are not there yet. And that's why coping Atomics. We want to focus on thermal reactors. The great thing about thermal reactors is also that you get a lot better efficiency of your fuel and thorn is the only fuel that way you can make a breeder cycle. That means you can actually produce. More fuel than you consume is a little bit complex to explain. But one of the problems is that you don't throw them in the process. Thumb is not enough the base fuel, but you need something to ignite it. We usually call it a kickstart, a fuel. You need to put some other fuel in there to get the process running. And when the process is running, it's burning the form and getting energy out of it. But you need that other Kickstarter fuel. And we want to use spent nuclear fuel. The plutonium in spent nuclear fuel as that Kickstarter fuel, because we realized that by doing that, we can actually solve another big issue for people, namely the waste. And you mentioned that a little bit before it is true that classical nuclear reactors, they. Produce the waste and it's quite radioactive for many years. And, um, well, what they didn't tell me, I wasn't even educated as an engineer. I was never told that you could actually. Reprocess the spending for fuel and break it down and solve the problems that it needs to be stalled for a million years. But the problem is a custom money. It's not, it's not for free and nobody has wanted to spend the money yet to do that. It's not entirely true because France is actually doing reprocessing off their spending for fuel from there into reactors. And they're turning that plutonium into what is called max fuel, and then they can use it again. And they sort of solved the problem, but it's not in a good way. It's very expensive. And when you look at the radiation afterwards, it's, you know, you can say, do we really want to spend all this money to make it a little bit less radioactive? It might not be the best choice that they have taken, but at least they are trying, there was a, in the U S back in the fifties and seventies is on, they were also trying to do it, but they ended up shutting it down. But with thorn reacts, it's becomes completely different. You can actually do this with form reactors and get a fairly good economy out of it. So this way we can show the public event you can take, spent nuclear fuel. You can process it. Of course it costs money, but you can process it. And because you can use some of the waste products from that processing in it, though, I'm reacting, you can actually get a positive economic system out of that. The whole system becomes pasta because you don't need the enrichment. If you want to run on uranium, you you'll need the Richmond. And that's also expensive. So it sounds great. You know, it's how the balance. Yeah. I mean, this sounds like a very great, obvious thing to do. Why aren't the big energy companies doing this or are they already interested in this? Why isn't this already? The standard, like something that makes this difficult to implement or something that you've developed that solved the specific issue that people encounter when they try to send the past? Yeah. That's why I'm here. That's why I'm here. I used to do other startup companies. In the tech sector. And when I started studying this, when I went to those conferences in the beginning, I realized that big companies cannot do this because the risk is too big. So when you know about companies, you know, that big companies make a lot of money because they have spent decades to make an organization that is really good at one thing or a couple of things. And they do those things really well. And they have a system and processes and they can add more people to that, but this isn't a completely new thing. They don't have this technology already. And then they might have a few engineers who can figure it out, but they don't have an organization that can figure it out and they don't know how to deal with the risk, but there's, there is a high risk today and the highest risk is the politicians. You know, let me tell you how I look at this. So. We humans, we need a lots of entities, especially if we want to have a type of lifestyle that we have today. And if we look at some of the richest people in the richest part of the world and you ask them, and even they, they just consume a lot of energy, but even they want to consume even more. So everybody's just energy hungry. And of course, there's billions of people on this planet who also wants to get what I have, like clean water and a washing machine and heating in the home and air conditioning in the car and whatnot. I fully understand why they want that, but that costs a lot of energy. So, you know, when you look at the prospects into the future, we will need a lot of entity. And eventually we will run out of oil and gas and coal. And, you know, if you look in wind and solar, there's no way that it's going to solve a problem. Like again, people who doesn't care about math, they can somehow make some stories up. But if you start to do the math and you're from Germany, Germany has really tried, but it's not going to happen, period. So wind and solar is a good, like a intermediate technology. For this transition, but it's not going to solve the problem in the long run. And especially in an audit, we need 10 times as much energy as what we consume today on this planet. And then you start to look at nuclear because that's one of the technologies that potentially can supply 10 times more. And I looked at fusion, I looked at fast reactors. I looked at thermal reactors. I looked at all like classical nuclear reactors and, you know, it's just me. I became convinced that classical nuclear reactors is not going to scale. You know, maybe we can make twice as much energy as what we get from nuclear today. Around the world, but even that is going to be a, quite a big, heavy load to lift. And then I looked at these fast racks as we talked about a little bit before, and I don't think we humans are ready for that yet. We're not there yet. And I've looked at fusion even many years ago and I hope we will see a fusion reactor in my lifetime, but I don't think we will see fusion providing 10% of global entity in my lifetime. And then I looked at the thumb and I thought, Whoa, here's something we can do. And especially somebody like me who have this approach of minimum viable product, where I don't need to have the financing to go out and build 10 reactors before I start, you know, I can figure out how to do this with very little amounts of money. And that's what we bring to the table and coping. And Tommy's, it's not so much our. In nuclear engineering, it's more the approach of this minimum viable product, you know, to try to get it working and try to get kind of make small systems that work and make a revenue from them and build from there. And that's talk about that more. I see the mind. Yeah. So just obviously looking at your journey, you gave us this picture early on almost after creating the Fort of energy, where you have an assembly line of reactors and you have a very efficient way of producing this and you could scale this up quite quickly aware. Companies from all over the world or governments from all over the world who kind of buy this technology, where are you in this journey? Like, are you at the MVP stage? Are you at a stage that you're already selling these new actors? Like, tell us a bit more about where you're at in terms of this product that you're creating and commercialization of it, by the way, I'm a huge fan of more Fort it. And also other places like. Ikea, you know, what? They were able to bring to a lot of people because they start thinking about how can we scale this up? You know, those people in our society who think about how to scale things up, whether it be Ikea or somebody doing healthcare, scaling that up. I really admire those people. And of course, I want to try to do that myself, but we're not there yet. So what we look at it as MVP is like, what is the minimum thing in a reactor you can make and sell? Well, already there it's difficult because you cannot, you cannot build a mini reactor and sell that you need approvals. It's very expensive. And if you're a startup company, try to scale down and see, okay, Mike, can I make part of a reactor? And so that, and that's basically sort of what we do. We saw that. If we were to scale these reactors really globally, there's two critical components in those reactions. One is the heat exchanger and the other one is, um, those are the two most critical components and we looked around and it's always like any company in the world today who can supply those. And with heat exchanges, there are sort of some companies who can supply that, but those CD centers have not been approved for a nuclear reactions and these high temperatures. But they will work, even though they haven't been approved. It's not a lot of work to bring them from where these off the shelf products are today. So they can be used in assembly line of emotes or reactive. Then we look at the pump and there is no company in the world anywhere that has any pump that where you could use it or just modify it a little bit and use it. And we started talking to companies all around the world. See. You know, can we kind of pay one of these companies to develop a pump together with us that could be used? Or do we think that there's a way back in the 1960s, the U S government or what's called the Oak Ridge national laboratory in the us built a mobile reactor and ran it for five years and they use the pump. And of course, we have looked a lot of that pump and other people have done that as well. And they made extensive reports about some of the problems with that prominent. We look at that and we saw, how can we fix those problems today? And to be honest, when we looked at that for two years in combing Atomics and talked to other pump manufacturers, we realized that this is not going to be easy. I mean, this is a difficult problem to solve and we thought, okay, let's start there. This is something we can do as a company, we can develop a pump. It's going to take some time, but we can develop that. And then we can actually sell that in other industries and there should MVP so we can develop a very critical part of the reactor. And then we can actually sell that to other industries and get a revenue before we start the first reactors. And that's what we're doing right now. And this has been a great journey. It's a lot of engineering. It's a lot of solving, irritating little problems with their tolerances and the materials and stuff. But as an engineer, it's a very, um, interesting task. Yeah. And then we developed this pump and it can be used in a concentrated solar power plants and in molten salt entity start systems. And it can even be used in some other industries. Where they pump around fluid at very high temperatures. And already today, we're starting to sell that pump there and it will help us a lot. If we can have our pumps in the industry, running for a million hours before we need to stop the first of those pumps in the molds or reactive, because if we already have used it for a million hours, we pretty much know when it fails and where and why. Got it amazing. And it's really a great approach, especially because it's a really crucial part of your own journey as well. You're not just selling something random, you're selling a crook core component of what you're trying to do. So what's the time then for you to be able to produce these reactors at scale, or even just initially, what do you expect right now? When will these be available? Yeah. So a little bit of a background context as well. So back in the forties and fifties, we humans build a lot of, uh, nuclear reactors in sometimes in less than one year, other times in two or three years, and they got up and running and some of them ran the second reactor we ever built. It's now a museum and I've been there and visited. It's a great opportunity. If you ever go to the U S and Northwest part of us, it's up near Seattle in state of Washington. You should go and look at this museum. It's incredible. But they built a two and a half gigawatt nuclear reactor, which was the second one in the world. They kind of didn't know what they would do. They built that in 11 months from the broke the ground until the chain went, react to a chain reaction from running and it's a two and a half gigawatt reactor. It's the same size of some of the biggest reacts we built today. 11 months and you know, they could do that back then. So what went wrong today? We just built a new nuclear power plant in Finland. It has taken 16, 17 years by now, and it's still not ready to open and the customer fortune. So you need to understand that the reason why we humans, when we got computers and all the wonderful things we have. Still cannot build nuclear pipelines. It's because of the politicians. It's because of the media is because of the lawyers and the bankers. It's not because of the engineers. It's not because it's difficult technology it's because of the management around nuclear reactors has completely screwed up. So this is another really, really, really big issue we have to solve. And it's much, much more difficult than the pump I was talking about, you know? Nuclear has brought itself into a, like a deadlock or bad road where it needs to back up and get down another road. And, you know, as a startup company, that's difficult. I mean, how can we change the world's opinion on nuclear and how can we sort of get it right again? And, uh, this is not an easy thing to solve, but people who are positive and we think it can be solved. And we think that eventually. When people realize that when it's always not the solution and we're running out and oil and gas and coal. Then some of the politicians will be more reasonable and try to maybe listen to stuff. So I think in the long-term it will solve itself basically, but, you know, we want to be the type of people who will push it along. And one of the ways to do that is to show the public that this stuff is not dangerous. Show the public that this stuff can be built quite easily. Like today. A lot of people say, Oh, but there's problems with corrosion and. And there's problem with Tridium. They mentioned all kinds of crazy things, which is not really a problem, but they've heard somewhere on the web that maybe it's a problem, and that's not very expensive to show that those things are not a problem. So that's the next thing we will do as a company, we will show the world that all those technical problems that some people that doesn't know anything they worry about, that's not a problem. Okay. So what is the problem? It's the politicians. It's the media. Let's do something about that. But we're not there yet. I tell you I've been in this now for 10 years and the public, there's lots of technology, people, and lots of engineers who are way past that point, but the general population is not there yet when they realize that. As soon as we can get the media and the politicians to get this whole concept right in their head, then we can build this amazing. Yeah. Well, we'll do a small step of this one as a small company. We'll do a small step with this podcast to potentially get people to think about this, obviously. And I'm sure. It's really interesting to hear that you see this as one of the larger problems, even compared to some of the technology challenges. Right? So we're almost running out of time, but I'd love to ask two quick questions at the end. So basically one. Really advice to entrepreneurs going into this type of space or like solving hard engineering problems in general. I mean, you pretty much went and difficult space maybe from a technology point of view, but then also from a public. Perception point of view, as you just mentioned, I can imagine it was pretty hard to find investors that were like, yeah, let's invest in nuclear. What could possibly go wrong? Um, what do you think was the biggest challenge in building this company from an entrepreneurial point of view and advice you could give to entrepreneurs starting out in a space like that? Uh, and that was a little bit, two different questions, but I would say in general, yes, it's difficult to get investors it's still difficult and it will continue to be difficult for some time. There's lots of investors who get it, but then they say, you know, is there some way we can reduce that political risk? And we actually working with a group of people to try to see if we can do some things about that, because if we can reduce the political risk. Or that you can say, even the societal perception of nuclear risk, if we could solve that in some way, then I think we, there was a lot more money we can get like hundreds of times more capital would be willing to invest in this because there's a lot of the investors, they get it, they see that this once we kind of break through with a first reactions to this can scale really fast. So, um, yeah, but there are people out there and like, I was one of the first investors and my co-founders were the other ones. So we didn't start out going to with venture capital and say, you know, we want to raise money for this. I knew that was not possible. I've been at, uh, down, uh, same Hill roads in Silicon Valley, a number of times. And I knew I didn't even have to go and ask, you know, they were not going to fund this right off the bat. So we started in this other way, but yeah, it is possible to raise capital and it's mostly for people from people who are. Passionate about this and who think, you know, you know, I can invest in this or that I want to invest in something. Yeah. There is a risk, but if it works out, you know, I can get a hundred or a thousand times multiple my first investment. So, so they see it as a high risk investment, but also something that they want to do because they want to see this technology. Right. Fruit. And then, so that was the thing about the investors. Then you asked about entrepreneurs, like, what is it that they need to teach themselves or. Understand to get into this. You need to educate us yourself about what is risk, like the different components of risk and how can you do something about them? And because I have made it systems for decades where you look at different types of risk, like risk of server, breaking down a risk of people using it in a wrong way or risk of. Cyber attacks a risk of internal security threats from employees and all that stuff. You get used to looking at risk and analyze it. And I've done that for many years. So it was not very difficult for me to make that analysis. When we came into nuclear, it's kind of the same thing, but there's lots of young people who needs to get into this field. I think that's one of the things that they should start looking at, trying to get a model in their head of. What does risk and what, like, just try to figure out which risks are 10 times higher than the other one and why and what you can do about it, because sometimes you can do something simple thing and then even make something that was risky before 10 times less risky. That's important. And we are doing that everyday. Him coping and Thomas, we were looking at it. We also use it systems for the reactors. And we have to look at how do we build it systems so that they cannot get hacked and they cannot break down because of heartburn and all that stuff. And really to become a good developer or entrepreneur, I would really recommend people to become a maker first and maker is somebody who can tinker with things, build things, take them. Pardon? Change them or build them into something new. And there's lots of great YouTube channels baked by makers who make all kinds of things, other either an electronics or mechanics or chemistry, or yeah, you name it. And that's where you need to go and learn because there's so much great things to learn there. And YouTube forget about it. Like a five years engineering degree or master degree in something it's kind of worthless. I hope you have a lot of great parties while you were at. University, but it's, that's not the thing that brings you into somebody who can that's great advice. Really good advice. Last question I have is how does the world look like in 10 years if Copenhagen Tomek succeeds, how does the world look like? Uh, I'm sure we will succeed. I'm convinced of that. Of course. And, um, in 10 years from now, I think we will have built two or three reactors. So we will have shown to the greater public that this technology works and it can be built and that it can be built at reasonable costs. So w we will, as a company, we will have proof of concept by then, whether there is a big exception of nuclear in the general public in 10 years from now, that's a little bit difficult for me to see. I also see a lot of other things happening in the next 10 years because. You know, we haven't had any big Wars in the last five centuries or whatever. And the global economy has been kind of stable in the last 30 years or not entirely stable, but I think we have a much more rough waters ahead of us. I think a lot more crazy things will happen in the next 10 years that then what we have experienced in the past. And, you know, they always say that the next war is never going to be fought like the previous Wars. And everybody thinks today that in the next force is going to be tanks and fighter jets. No, forget about it. It's not going to be like that. It's going to be cyber attacks and biological weapons, and you don't even know who the enemy is. And then there's like economic warfare and stuff like that. And I think we have a lot more of that coming and yeah, it's a little bit difficult to see exactly how the world would turn out. If I knew that I, I wouldn't be here, but, but I think I'm sure we, as a company will be working on great technology that will change the world. When you go back and look at the car. For example, we talked about him before, before 20 years after the car was invented, more money was still being invested into the horse carrots industry than in the new car industry. And now, you know, we've kind of just started this industry and I'm sure. 10 years from now, we will see the same. There will still be more money invested in wind and solar and coal fire power plants. Then they will be invested in energy, but in 20 years from now or 30 years from now, I can tell you it's going to be the only thing people talk about, but it's a little bit further down the road. You can see. Amazing. It's great that you're already working on this today and you have such a compelling vision for how the world could look like and what could power the world. So it was really a pleasure to talk to you, Thomas. Thanks for joining us today and all the best with Copenhagen Atomics and making this vision a reality. Thank you. Thanks.